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4.2 out of 5 stars66
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 2 October 2015
really thin book but contains all of hagakure. Interesting samuraui stories.
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on 12 January 2015
Very interesting book. The information seems basic but its quite insightful.
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on 14 August 2000
as featured in the Jim Jarmusch movie Ghost Dog, this is full of short snippets, concerning the samurai code. Some of it is guidance for how to be a good retainer to the feudal Lords of ancient Japan, which is interesting in itself, but I preferred the stories about samurai getting involved in violent skirmishes. Lots of seppuku action! If you're a fan of the Kurosawa samurai films, or read the likes of Mashima, then you should probably get this.
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on 29 March 2002
I had been meaning to buy this book for a while, but know that I have finally gotten around to it; I wish I had done it sooner. When it arrived, I stared to flick though, just to get a fell for it, but I quickly found myself engrossed and read it cover to cover.
Within thirty pages, I had found more incite then it any five other books on matters of the mind and spirit combined, and I can say that by the time I was finish, I was a different person, in both my out look and attitude to life. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for anyone looking for a different way of thinking and looking at the world. Buy it know.
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on 22 May 2011
Everything as expected, Excellent choice, great purchase.
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on 11 September 2014
Read a page a day . Some defining moments .....truly
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on 15 March 2001
This classic samurai code of living is a essential addition to any collection alongside works on Bushido, the Art of War, The Book of Five Rings and for anybody interested in strategic game play from the office, to relationships to martial artists.
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on 27 February 2015
Great book, really enjoying reading it.
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on 8 October 2012
It seems to me that people are always looking for meaning and paths to follow, or the latest business fad and linkage to this culture or that civilization. Many in the west have been seduced by the 'samurai' and seek to replicate their way of life in order to bring some kind of gravity to their own lives. But its a fake and contrived meaning - an act. I don't need an ancient samurai to tell me how to work hard, or how to respect others, or how compose myself with dignity. All of this can be found within - so choose your own path, don't hang onto the coattails of others - whether ancient or current.

Back to book - there seems to be some opinion that it can provide relevant guidance in life and business today, or that study of it may deepen ones understanding of the martial arts.

Well, perhaps some of the ideas might well be relevant in broad terms - a good idea usually lasts the test of time, whoever said it. But personally I don't think anyone should obsess over it, as there is an equal amount that is completely irrelevant in modern western (and to some extent eastern) society. For example, there is much about the ritual of seppuku, also known as hara kiri where a samurai could restore or preserve their honour by taking their own life. This would be expected if they had shown, for example, cowardice in battle, or significantly neglected their duties.
If we were to adopt this approach, then I'm quite sure there would be no government left! In my opinion, this ideal is nonsensical - why should taking your own life clear you name of your misdeeds? Whilst the book perhaps places too much emphasis on this aspect of samurai culture, I still disagree fundamentally with the idea, which means much of the book is rather difficult to digest.

Whilst it is very interested to read about people who lived by these codes, and perhaps enviable that there existed such collective devotion to duty and honour, I feel this is (perhaps sadly) and anachronism these days. Personally, I hold my life dear and whilst I would give it up for my family, friends and comrades, I would not give it up for a boss who I thought would not do the same for me - whereas much of the samurai culture seems to border on almost blind obedience and a 'live to serve' philosophy. I'm sure the vast majority aren't looking to take the book this literally anyway!

So most of the 'adaptable' ideas are, in my opinion, more to do with general courteous behavior, moderation, hard work, and so on - but plenty of cultures promote such things, including our own.

So I suppose my message is - this book is fascinating reading for an insight into samurai philosophy, but don't get too caught up in the sentimentality of it and certainly don't be so naive as to think it can be applied literally in today's society - it will be very disheartening to try and live by the 'way of the samurai' only to find that nobody around is!

I think many people won't like my review because it takes away the fantasy. I don't have anything against the book as a historical text - in fact I read it often, but more out of interest and amusement rather than for advice or guidance.

You won't find the meaning of bushido or the way of the samurai by reading this book and certainly not by watching any films and so on.

I think if you wanted to find such meaning, then you must absolutely live for it.
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on 5 May 2016
Hard read, but enlightening.
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